Before I talk about my Firebird, let me mention I once owned a brand spanking new Pontiac Fiero. It was black and racy, sexy and cool. I felt like a super hero in it as I zipped down the street and flew around corners. But I had trouble with that car; in short, I couldn’t drive, eat a donut, and shift all at the same time. That irked me a lot. But the car never broke down. Of course, it only had 30,000 miles on it before somebody used it as target practice for Terrorist Training by ramming their car into it and totaling it. I knew a Terrorist did it because nobody else would accidentally run smack in the back of a parked car. So at 22 years old, I ran down to my Pontiac dealer and bought what I really wanted in the first place: A Red Pontiac Formula Firebird! Picture my ear-to-ear smile as I drove off the lot with all 8 cylinders humming, a box of donuts at the ready, and my automatic Transmission doing the shifting for me.
It was a really fast, shinny red car that you could see coming for at least 135 miles. I knew it would draw in the babes. As I drove home, I figured I’d finally be able to get a girl to talk to me now that I had this fantastic car. I remember the excitement as I ran low on gas after that first tank. I’d been waiting for this day. I’d have to stop at the gas station where I’d quietly and sexily get out of my man-o-musk metal outerwear so all the ladies could longingly admire me, the owner of this fabulously sexy, magnetizing machine.
The first ten times I got out of the car, girls didn’t look at me much though. I thought nothing of it. I was aloof and on top of the world. I figured they were just being coy as I was. I lived my fantasy for many station stops later. I even stopped to fill up every 5 gallons to improve me odds of admiration. Over 100 stops later the results were in; no ladies looking. Adding insult to injury, 15 your old boys always came over to me to say something like, “dude, how many horses does that baby have under the hood”. Ok, so it took me another ten years to figure out that I’d need something like a BMW, Mercedes, or other expensive car to get the ladies attention. I learn life’s lessons very slowly.
Anyhow, the reason for this story really has nothing to do with how sexy I am, but actually about my Firebird’s mechanical problems. Sorry it took me so long to get to it. I tend to ramble. In short, one morning my Firebird had developed a attitude problem that revolved around a sleeping disorder. That is, it wouldn’t wake up. The starter was pronounced clinically dead at the scene.
So I towed my 60,000-mile old Babe Mobile down to my local neighborhood franchised garage and they had a deal for me. They could replace my starter with a Rebuilt part and save me some money on the repair (versus using new parts like the Dealer wanted to do). It came with a glistening 90-day warranty. I figured, the original part lasted 60,000 miles and 4 years, the rebuilt one would surely last at least half that long.
So, about 91 days later I was towed back into the shop again with my car’s same attitude problem. The shop manager figured we had adjusted the car’s attitude right the first time, and the failed starter was surely just a fluke. So we agreed to put another rebuilt starter in there. Yes, I skulked back in to the same shop about 92 more days later. I think we may have put a new one on it that time, but I don’t really remember (bad memories are blocked by the brain after the trauma gets serious enough).
So now a little tech talk as to why this might have been happening. Rebuilt parts usually come with a 90 day warranty and fail far more often than remanufactured parts or new parts. In the process for a rebuilt part, they generally clean, test and replace what has to be replaced – but nothing else. Think about that for a minute. You are only fixing what actually broke, not necessarily the design or assembly flaws that may have caused the failure in the first place.
You can also go with a remanufactured part where you throw away all the wear items, test the rest, resurface all relevant surfaces, replace all the thrown away wear items, and test the final assembly. In this case you are definitely improving your odds at staying on the road longer. These parts will fail a lot less often than the rebuilt parts and they generally come with a 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty. Of course, you could go with the full Monty and buy a brand new part and also get a 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty and (arguably) get the best results.
Now that I’ve helped you understand the tech talk the shop guys tell you when they’re listing out your options, keep in mind I have little to no good advice regarding women in general. But this story ought to help you with that one little problem I had driving a Pontiac Firebird. You see, today my wife is smarter than me and she’s also way more beautiful than me. And you guessed it. I met her long after the Firebird was buried.